Happy Girl

This girl is beyond blessed.
My absence in the blogosphere means that I'm stuck in the labyrinth of life and buried under its complexities. Now that I'm back home for a few days, I have the luxury of time to blog about my recent adventures.

My life was never eventful. Make it into a story, or a movie, and perhaps you will doze off after three minutes. I'm your typical Filipino-Chinese girl who has overprotective parents and lives a very sheltered life. Back in high school, it was just school-house-school-house routine, except for the usual merienda breaks in many fast-food chains near school or my weeknights spent at tutorial classes for deadly Physics  class. In college, I did the same. School has always been the top priority. I didn't do parties and other extra curricular stuff that would eat up my time (except for the campus ministry). The goal was to be on the dean's list every semester and to finish with honors. I didn't fret much because I have my best group of friends in the university. We did the same things together. Boring. But this was pre-Taiwan, circa 2001 to 2008.

I experienced a major life makeover in 2009. I journeyed alone in the land of xiao long bao and spent the first month crying myself to sleep. Two years after, I found myself enjoying the convenience of practically all things in Taipei. And little did I know that God was brewing up something for me. Who would have thought that I will end up extending my stay in my adoptive land? And this is how my life became a tiny bit exciting.

Before I finished writing my thesis, I went to some interviews and ended up in a trial period of one company. I didn't really expect good results because the main objective was just to try it out, pass or fail, without really considering to extend. I prayed so hard for strength and guidance for me to perform well because apparently, (and this is a rare case for me) I like the work so much. I started working after I defended my thesis and thus the start of the most agonizing week in my entire existence.

I was thinking whether I'd be able to get the job or not. I prayed for God to just take me wherever He wants and I will just follow. I think I was really praying hard to our mother and to my patron saint, St. Therese, that I once saw myself in my own dream, still praying. Scary I know, but that is me when Im trying to overcome anxiety.Two weeks after the trial period, I was told that I'm officially hired. My heart was literally jumping up and down. The next thing up on the list is to find an apartment. I was dreading this one. How the heck will I look for an apartment in a foreign land-- without my parents?

"Freaking out" is an understatement. I experienced major palpitations while browsing housing websites. To sum up, I visited a total of 10 houses, and called maybe 20 landlords. It was the adventure of a lifetime and I kid you not. I have two Taiwanese friends who did most of the calling. They printed out the maps and accompanied me to each house. I was already crying last week because I cannot find a place that I really want. And then as always, God moves in mysterious ways.

On Friday (July 1), my friend and I visited the last place on the paper. This should be okay, my friend said. I just sighed and hoped for the best. We went and met the landlord, a couple in their late 50s. They are really nice. I felt the need to decide right then and there because I will be going home for a short while and I wanted to be settled after I get back. I confirmed the next day. The room has nice furniture, and the landlord is an important factor for me. However the problem is that I have no friend available to come with me for the contract signing scheduled for Monday.

I can read Chinese but not a contract in full Chinese. I was thinking who to call for help and I thought of my Chinese teacher who has always offered help in everything. She gladly said yes and she went with me yesterday. I don't even know how to thank her anymore. Everything fell into place because of her. She did all the talking with the landlord, she explained the contract to me. She haggled for the rent. Everything. I did nothing but listen and sign the papers.

This is how blessed I am. This is how eventful my life is today. I know this will be a one big transition again but I am ready to embrace it, with God's grace. I believe there is magic in my every day. We spent the whole morning yesterday in the new flat for the contract, then I worked in the afternoon until 9 in the evening, finally moved my stuff in my new room at around 11, back in my friend's place where I spent the previous nights to pack my things for today's flight. I slept at around 3am, my heart still filled with gratitude.

I really cannot imagine how the contract signing would go without my teacher. She managed to talk to the landlord and let me take the nicer room, to add more stuff and do some fixing. I left Taiwan with a huge smile and peace of mind this afternoon.

I was also thankful that my cousins came right in time for a visit. They rescued me in all of my life's stress and pressure. They spent three days in Taipei and ate and ate and ate. It was so nice to be with them again after how many years. I think we should do it more often, before we become old and busy with our lives. Motto: Xiao long bao everyday, everyday okay!

Our xiao long bao love affair.

My thesis writing finally came to an end. I have yet to make a list of people to thank, those who made this project possible, most especially people who gave moral support when I was on the brink of giving up. And because I'm such a fan girl, I had my book signed from the author of my thesis bible.

Fan girl mode: ON